Ask the Readers

Prometheus Unbound

Prometheus Unbound

As Prometheus Unbound nears two years in publication — I officially launched it on October 29, 2010 — now seems as good a time as any for a little reflection and reevaluation.

We’ve got some big things on the horizon: a site redesign built on Thesis 2.0; the launch of an original podcast in January 2013; professionally designed banner, logo, and favicon. The site is going to look slicker and, hopefully, load faster in the near future. We’re about to look more professional, expand into a new medium, and, hopefully, attract a new audience.

But at the same time, I don’t want to neglect our existing services. I need to personally rededicate myself to participating in the book club. I’ve let my involvement slip over the past couple of months while other things (teaching, kids, research, admin and design work for the site) demanded my attention. I also need to write news and review posts more regularly. We could use your help in this department, however. We’re always looking for more regular and irregular contributors to bring our readers more content, not just reviews but also news, interviews, articles, and more. Stop by the community forums as well. Say hello. Tell us what you’ve been reading or watching and what you think about it. We’d love to know and want to chat with you.

The main reason for this post, however, is that something made me wonder recently whether we’re sending out email updates too frequently. We’ve greatly increased our mailing list over the past couple of months and I want to make sure we continue to bring all of you great content and not make ourselves unwelcome in your inboxes.

Our email newsletter currently consists mostly of updates from our rss feed — the post(s) we publish in a given day — and two Lightmonthly Read updates every month. The email updates for posts are not quite daily, since we do not publish posts every day, but if we did then a digest email would be sent out once per day.

We’re always looking for ways to improve the services we provide here at Prometheus Unbound, so I thought I’d ask our readers what you want.

Would you prefer to continue getting email updates on a quasi-daily basis (usually just 1-3 times per week, whenever a new post is published) or on a weekly digest basis?

Let us know in the comments, or any other way you prefer to contact us.

While you’re at it, if you have any other comments, suggestions, or even criticisms, please do not hesitate to voice them.

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Books

to-read pile

We’re thinking of launching a new feature here at Prometheus Unbound and want to gauge reader interest before doing so.

The feature will likely be called The Lightmonthly Read — a geeky name for a rather familiar concept: a reading group or “book of the month” club.

The idea is that each month readers of Prometheus Unbound will nominate stories and vote on the one they want to read in the following month. We’ll all read and discuss the story, including Prometheus Unbound staff, in one of our forums. We might also make use of Google+ Hangouts on occasion. At the end of the month, someone (either one of you or one of us) will get a chance to officially review the story for Prometheus Unbound.

That’s just for starters.

If The Lightmonthly Read proves to be a success, we plan to solicit author involvement. We could get authors to participate in the forum discussions for a day, or a week, or even the entire month — whatever the author is up for. You might get a chance to participate in a Google+ Hangout or Skype chat with your favorite author. We might even be able to coordinate some book giveaways.

Does this new feature interest you? Let us know in the comments.

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ASK THE READERS | What is the best science fiction for people who “serve” in the military? Thumbnail
The Forever War by Joe Haldeman
Hint Hint

That’s what i09 asked their readers yesterday. More specifically, they wanted to know what is “the best science fiction to read or watch if you’re actually serving in the military. … What kind of SF gets you through the day (and night)?”

You can guess what sort of suggestions io9’s typical readers will come up with. Or you could brave the comments to find out.

But I’m sure we libertarians would have some quite different suggestions.

We wouldn’t be asking what kind of science fiction gets soldiers engaged in unnecessary, counterproductive, imperialist wars through the day (and night). We wouldn’t be asking what sort of fiction soothes their consciences (if they feel any guilt at all) or reinforces their misguided patriotism. Or what merely helps them pass the time while keeping their minds off of the rigors of war or how much they miss their loved ones.

No, we would ask what kind of science fiction would prick their consciences and awaken them to what their “service” really means:
[Keep reading…]

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